It is no wonder that the food we consume directly affects our general health, but is also incredibly important to our oral health. A poor diet lacking in essential nutrients can lead to serious complications in dental development and oral diseases. Some common diet-related diseases include cavities, enamel defects, gum diseases, and dental erosion.
So How Does Diet Affect Oral Health?
You may have heard of plaque, which is one of the major causes of tooth decay. Plaque is essentially bacteria that stick to the surface of your teeth and feed off the food that you eat-- especially sugars and cooked starches. About 5 minutes after eating, these bacteria will start producing acid as they digest your food, slowly eroding the outer surface of your teeth. So whenever you are consuming sugary sodas or candies, just watch out that while these items already lack nutritional value, they can also take a toll on your oral health over time.
How Can I Eat Better Then?
While we all have our favorite food and snacks, it is important to keep in mind three things:
Variety: Make sure to eat from all food groups to maintain a balanced diet.
Proportionality: Eat a healthy diet with more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and less processed food, sugars, and cholesterol.
Moderation: Added sugars, cholesterol, and salts are delicious, but try limiting their portions
It is crucial to make it a habit to maintain healthy food choices and keep proper oral hygiene. By flossing daily and brushing your teeth with fluoridated toothpaste, you are warding yourself from many potential oral problems. On top of that, do not forget to schedule regular checkups and cleaning to keep your oral health in check!